Thursday, 4 February 2010

We have been racking the 2009 Grand Chai Blanc barrels this morning ready for the blending and bottling at the end of month.

With this many barrels I have called in ‘Petit Denis’ the cellar master extraordinaire to get some serious barrel moving done! Henry’s also in town so that means lunch at ‘Le Voyageur’ in the heart of Castillon.

We book a table for five with Madam Mimi as we enter the front bar, all eager to see if there are ‘frites’ today. The chips from here are simply the best in the world and our chip world hinges on the big red light in the corner! If the light is off it means chips are on the menu but if it’s on it could cause tears because it signifies that it’s peak price hour for electricity and therefore too expensive to plug the chip fryer in! And it’s ON!!!!!

Fortunately we have Petit Denis to entertain us and explain the French table etiquette of ‘la trilogie’. La trilogie – meaning the trilogy – is the art of keeping a proportional amount of bread, wine and cheese in front of you so that every mouthful you take you have the perfect marriage of some wine, cheese and bread. The object is that your last piece of cheese is consumed with your last crumb of bread and your last sip of wine, leaving you with an empty glass and a clean plate. It’s not as easy as it sounds, try it! Anyway after our lunch time trilogie dilemma and some lovely succulent chicken heart skewers, we were soon back in Le Chai rolling more barrels.

Dust, dust and more dust but it’s all progress at Le Chai. It’s becoming exciting as the dream winemakers tasting room is starting to take shape!


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